Last week I made a big deal (in a Huffington Post Blog) about knowing when and when not to whip out your iPhone for that magical social media moment. I professed that sometimes it’s best to leave your camera in your purse (or back pocket) and enjoy a chance rendezvous. I stand by that. I do.
BUT…just a few days after my pontification, I went for a hike in Fryman Canyon with my sister and niece who were visiting from NY. My niece, as always, had her radar up for celebrity sightings. And, lo and behold, as we were finishing up our hike, there, emerging from her car, was Lea Michele… heading for the trail.
Now, over the past few years Lea has graced her voice on 4 original songs I wrote for Glee. And so…It crossed my mind to stop and introduce myself. And perhaps even …uhhhh….ask her if she’d take …uhhh… a picture with me. But I didn’t. After all, what did I just get finished blogging about? Plus, I was pretty sweaty. And, I have to admit, I was putting on a bit of a jaded “Oh-it’s-no-big-deal-we-see-celebrities-all-the-time” Hollywood air.
So off we drove. Only thing is…I kept thinking that I should have…you know… gotten that photo. Perhaps Lea might have appreciated if I introduced myself. She might have even known who I was. If I were her I might want to meet the writer who wrote those songs. Mightn’t you? (I can’t believe mightn’t didn’t get spellchecked. It must actually be a word.)
Nevertheless, I kept my jaded mouth shut and we headed toward Gelson’s for some groceries. But halfway there, I caved and voiced my regret. My niece suggested we go back after our marketing. At which point it would be about an hour from the time Lea descended into the mulch. An hour is just about the time it takes to walk the 2.8 miles around the Fryman loop. She continued her calculation…We could chill in the car and when Lea emerged, we could approach. I could nonchalantly say, “Hey Lea!! …I’m Shelly P. I wrote…bla bla bla…Just wanted to say Hi.” And get a picture of us to post on my Facebook Page, if that’s ok with you, pretty please. Thank you very much.
It was a clever idea but I dismissed the scheme as ridiculous and immature. I’m a grown woman!!! But inside the market, as I pondered the ripeness of a watermelon, I changed my mind. First of all, I love a good scheme. Secondly, how cute was my niece? And lastly, I was sure that once Lea got over the realization that “oh f*ck…someone ELSE is on approach”, she would be happy to have met me. :)
So I bought a bag of ice for the perishables and off we returned to the scene of the sighting. My niece checked her iPhone battery and prepared her camera for landscape mode. And then…we waited.
Exactly one hour after entering, Lea emerged. BUT!!! From out of the brush so did a half a dozen paparazzi who, in the last hour, must have gotten wind that she was there. This definitely threw a wrench into the works and we were standing in the middle of the parking lot trying to figure out how to adjust our carefully planned nonchalance.
When Lea saw all the cameras she made a b-line for her car. “Do it now, Aunt Shelly”, I heard my niece whisper assertively.” But the circumstances had changed drastically. Our calculated spontaneity had gone askew.
Lea opened her car door, with the intention of getting in, slamming it shut and escaping the small crowd ASAP. Who could blame her? I took my chances and called, as I would to a friend I recognized, “Hey, Lea!!!” but as her name came out of my mouth, I knew it was DOA. The door slammed and off she drove. Dust in her wake. She definitely had no intention of meeting me. I guess the iPhoto Op was out of the question. That's what I get for being such a hypocrite.
Maybe if I was a shrewder operator, I would have stopped her on her way into the park… before anyone else knew she was there. I would have seized the moment. That’s what the fearless do, don’t they? And they sleep at night too! @%@# Stupid me. I snoozed. I losed. (Of course, I know losed is not a word. But as a songwriter I simply can't resist the rhyme.)
It’s possible that in the near future I’ll work with Lea again and we’ll be in the same room this time and she will graciously partake in a photo. Like I said…there’s a right place and a wrong place. We have to listen to what our gut says. Or doesn’t say.
My Facebook and real life friend Jorge Hernandez wisely commented on my original blog post, “There's plenty of room for each of us to figure out what is the most meaningful way to navigate these new waters”.
Thank you Jorge. You’re absolutely right. Clearly, I’m still swimming.